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Civilian Aratech 74-Z Speederbike

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[Scale Solutions]

by Tyler Robbins

Scale: 1/9

The Aratech 74-Z Speederbike was first produce during the Clone Wars. The speeder served in several engagements with battle droids and was very successful in it's primary mission, that of scouting. After the end of the Clone Wars Aratech decided to pursue the civilian market with this little gem, and it found it's way to several planets, including Sulon, the moon of Sullust.

One owner, a man by the name of Drevin, bought an old, used 74-Z from a dealer and decided that it would be of use on his geo-farm. But he was more interested in profits than looking after his speeder, and the chipped paint, dents, scratches, and rust stains on the hull are a testament to that. The speeder has been in at least ten wrecks, but somehow only three of the body cowlings had to be replaced.

The old civilian-grade laser cannon was replaced by a high-speed tow cable, which is capable of swiveling almost nintey degrees, although the hydraulics powering the sideways movements are nearly shot. It was also originally yellow, but Drevin deemed it necessary to paint the parts black, although he isn't a very good painter. There are various other attachements on the vehicle, but somehow it still seems to break down every fifty kilometers or so. .

About the kit. . .

This is a re-issue of the old Return of the Jedi Speederbike kit from RC2. It was given to me on Christmas Day and I only had a few days to work on it, but I still think the job I did looks good, even if I did miss a few spots of paint.

The tow cable idea came to me when I realized that a tool would be of more use to a farmer than a weapon (although in the Star Wars universe the wildlife is sometimes violent enough to warrant a blaster), so I cobbled one together from a few automotive kit parts and some thread and stretched sprue. After that I took an exacto and carved several dings, scratches, and dents into the main body and primed it. Then I used Elmers Glue to mask the areas I wanted to be chipped and painted the entire speeder yellow, with the exception of the machinery underneath and three replaced parts, to give it a patched appearance.

The steel color of the machinery was made by mixing flat black and silver until I got a color I was happy with, and after I painted it on I took silver and dry-brushed it on. After the paint was dry I took brown and orange and mixed them together and painted several layers of rust, some of which is more orangy to simulate really active oxidation.

The stand I took the pictures on is a small clear box for gaming dice.

I think this particular vehicle is a testament to the old Star Wars tradition of a "used universe".

Image: Left side

Image: Tow

Image: Rear view

Image: Left/front closeup

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This page was last updated 28 December 2006. © 2006 Starship Modeler